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FAQ on the SAO

Note:  these FAQs refer to the Middle and Upper Level SSAT.  For more information about the Elementary Level SSAT, please click here.

How do I know if a school accepts SAO or not?

You can use the school search by clicking here and selecting the "accepts the SAO" filter. The results will only be schools that accept the SAO.

How can I edit my biographic information after submitted?

No changes or edits are possible once Biographic Information, Student, and Parent Sections have been submitted.

We strongly recommend you to review these sections carefully before submitting as there is no ability to save them as draft or edit them once they are submitted. We strongly advise you to prepare your responses the student and parent section in a separate word text editor and paste the final response to the online form for these sections. As the submitted components are delivered to the schools instantly, please contact the school(s) with any changes you may need to make to your application after it is submitted though the SAO service.

The person I listed did not receive a link to provide the recommendations?

First, please confirm the e-mail address for the person requesting the link is correct. Then, if you need a link resent to a principal or other person who did not receive the recommendation forms, please contact us by phone at 609-683-4440, or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will gladly resend the link.

How can I receive application fee waivers?

You can request an application fee waiver from the school you are applying. Unlike a test fee waiver, an application fee waiver will only waive an application fee for the school that issued it.

What is the $6 administrative fee per application?

The administrative fee is the nominal fee charged for administration of the SAO that covers the online processing of the application. The administration fee is not waived by use of an application fee waiver.

What if a school that I am applying to doesn't accept the SAO, while others do?

If a school does not accept the SAO, you will need to submit a traditional application to that one school. If that school is a member of The Enrollment Management Association that does not accept the SAO, you can also ask them to start accepting the SAO today!

When does the school receive an application through the SAO?

The application components that are submitted online by the applicant or by a recommender on behalf of the applicant are instantaneously delivered to the schools. Thus, every submission at the applicant end is reflected in the receiving school records in real time.

My information will not submit properly, how can I proceed?

Please check your web browser. We have some known compatibility issues with Internet Explorer Version 8 that may cause issues. Please use a different web browser or upgrade Internet Explorer.

I assigned my recommendation form incorrectly, how can I undo it?

If the form is not yet submitted, simply reassign the recommendation form to the correct reference. The new reference will receive the link to complete the form and the old link will expire.

In case I submitted something by accident, what's your refund policy for applications?

Application fees can be refunded within 24 hours of submitting the application. However, the administrative charge is non refundable. We cannot refund an application fee once the application information has been forwarded to the school. We advise you to contact the school directly to cancel your application and request a refund.

My application is complete per my workstation, but the school portal does not show the completed status. What am I missing?

The SAO delivers application components to schools in real time. Schools usually run separate processes periodically to update the checklist on their school portals. So what you are seeing may be just a lag due to pending updates.

I may have a couple of components pending by the deadline, will the school not consider my application?

Each school has unique completion criteria and flexibility. Please check with the school directly.

Does the Principal recommendation form have to be completed by the Principal?

The principal recommendation form is typically assigned to and completed by by the principal/counselor at the applicant’s current school, however, the Guidance Counselor can also be used if the Principal does not have a relationship with the student.

Who can be an application advisor?

If you are working with a placement counselor at your current school/organization or with an educational consultant, you can choose them as an advisor on your application/s to allow them to assist you with managing and/or monitoring your applications. If your school, organization, or educational consultant is an member, you can add them as your application advisor.

What is a School Supplement form?

SAO provides schools an option to include an additional component to include any information that is important to their application process. If a school requires a supplement form, you will see it as a requirement.

How can I add another newer transcript, if one was already submitted?

The Academic Record form can be submitted only once through the online system. If you have additional transcripts that will be available later in the application process, we advise you to wait till they are available to include them with your form OR if you want to submit the form prior to the transcripts being available, please send the additional reports to the schools directly.

I need to change the person I originally sent the recommendation to. Can I do that?

Yes. Click on the recommendation and enter the new email address and information. A recommendation request will then be sent to this individual.

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